Did you Know?
Rocky Marciano had a strange beginning to his professional boxing career. He turned pro after a brief amateur career and fought Lee Epperson in his first professional fight winning by KO and then promptly returned to the amateur ranks to fight in the Golden Gloves All-East Championships. On that occasion he suffered a defeat to the durable Coley Wallace. After participating in a few more amateur fights he returned to fight as a pro and went on to become the only undefeated heavyweight champion in pro boxing history. Marciano died in a plane crash at the age of 45.
Fritzie Zivic holds the record for the most defeats by a world champion.
Light-heavyweight boxer Sam Baroudi won twenty-three of his forty-five fights by knockout, including one in 1947 tragically killing his opponent, Glen(Newton) Smith, in the ring. Ironically it was Smith’s 23rd fight at the age of 23. Baroudi’s forty sixth fight was in 1948 against heavyweight contender Ezzard Charles. In the last round of that bout, Baroudi suffered the only knockdown of his career; Charles’s head punches caused a haemorrhage in Baroudi’s brain, which killed him.
Thomas Hearns won championships in five different weight classes. These were welterweight, Jr. middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and cruiserweight. Hearns fought for a sixth title but was beaten by middleweight champ Marvin Hagler in a now-classic bout. Sugar Ray Leonard also won world titles in a record five different weight divisions from 1979 to 1988. These included the WBC welterweight, light middleweight, middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight titles.
A lot of fighters were known to be placed “under the spell”. Here we have the late Jack Kukard subjecting himself to the practise of hypnotism.
Maurice Ouezman who was born in Oran, Algeria but fought out of Paris, France lost 27 of his 37 fights. 15 of those losses occurred in South Africa.
The late Jaap de Villiers who was a promoter in the 1980’s shows off a poster of the Petey Sarron vs Freddie Miller non-title featherweight fight which was held at the Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg on 31 July 1937.
The first World champion to fight in South Africa was Kid McCoy; he fought Bill Doherty in 1896 on Boxing Day and won on a ninth round knockout.